Links for 11-30-2012

Links for 11-29-2012

  • Doctors working in Britain’s National Health Service put severely disabled newborn babies on a “death pathway,” a euphemism for removing their food and fluid tubes until they die of dehydration, which can take ten days. A doctor wrote an article for the British Medical Journal that describes what happens: “Survival is often much longer than most physicians think; reflecting on my previous patients, the median time from withdrawal of hydration to death was ten days. Parents and care teams are unprepared for the sometimes severe changes that they will witness in the child’s physical appearance as severe dehydration ensues. I know, as they cannot, the unique horror of witnessing a child become smaller and shrunken, as the only route out of a life that has become excruciating to the patient or to the parents who love their baby.” Older children are put on death pathways, too. A nurse wrote to U.K. Department of Health to complain about the practice: “I have also seen children die in terrible thirst because fluids are withdrawn from them until they die. I witnessed a 14 year-old boy with cancer die with his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth when doctors refused to give him liquids by tube. His death was agonising for him, and for us nurses to watch. This is euthanasia by the backdoor.”

  • Something approaching an antidote for the previous item: A book review published on Slate (of all sites) written by Christina Nehring, describing life with her daughter, Eurydice, who has Down syndrome. Eurydice suffered from serial lung infections early in her life, then developed leukemia and endured seven months of chemotherapy. Nehring writes: “Eurydice has always been mysterious to me. To this day she does not speak – or, rather, she does not speak any publicly recognized language. But she has an enormous amount to say, uncanny capacities for observation, and startling social intelligence… Eurydice has a thousand things to teach, and every day I assimilate precious few. One thing I have grasped though is that the more I do, the more I can do. Raising my girl taps resources that did not exist five years ago… The joy Eurydice takes in each detail of life is the most infectious quality I’ve ever known. When she flings her arms around my neck as she does every day, every night, my most recurrent fear is no longer relapsing cancer, no longer early dementia or heart disease or hearing loss – or even the fact that Eurydice is growing up too slowly. It is a testament to how radically this child has transformed me that my most recurrent fear may be that she’s growing up too fast – that one day she could be too mature to give me those massive, resplendent, full-body hugs.”

  • A co-founder of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, Lakshman Achuthan, believes the U.S. is already in recession.

  • The default rate for college loans hit a new record high of 13.4%, so naturally Democrats are discussing a $1 trillion bailout.

  • Costco may be sending the wrong signal (from the Obama administration’s point of view) by moving up its dividend payout date to avoid the coming tax increase, but the $1.4 million that Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal raised for Obama’s re-election still earned the company a visit by Joe Biden to a new Washington, D.C. store.

  • When the U.S. goes over the Fiscal Cliff Obama will be in Hawaii on a three week vacation.

  • Jillian Kay Melchior wrote an article for National Review Online that describes how entrepreneurial activity is decreasing and spending on social-aid programs is increasing. Furthermore, immigrants are more likely to start a business, but they’re also more likely to be on welfare. This suggests our immigration policy ought to encourage the former and discourage the latter, but as noted yesterday, Obama’s immigration policy does the opposite.

  • The TSA refused to appear before a House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing, asserting that the committee has no jurisdiction over the agency.

  • Two more Tibetans self-immolated, Tsering Tashi and Wangdhen Khar. We’re up to 89.

Links for 11-28-2012

Links for 11-27-2012

  • Jamyang Norbu offers his take on why Jigme Ngabo was fired as head of the Tibetan section of Radio Free Asia. The short version: the Tibetan government-in-exile pressured the head of Radio Free Asia, Libby Liu, to fire Jigme Ngabu because he worked to insure that all Tibetan points of view were communicated on the network, including those of Jamyang Norbu, the Tibetan Youth Congress, the Rangzen Alliance, and others who want Tibetan independence instead of the Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” (some level of autonomy within China). Jamyang Norbu is an excellent writer and his description of the friction within the Tibetan exile community is worth reading.

  • In the meantime 24 year old Kalsang Kyab self-immolated in the Ngaba region of Tibet. He’s number 86.

  • RedState’s Erick Erickson is considering a primary run against U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss. Funding won’t be a problem, with or without the Washington, D.C. “heavy hitters” who are encouraging him to consider a run.

  • Erickson offers a useful primer for Romney super PAC donors on how candidates actually get elected these days. You’ll learn a lot more about this if you attend the candidate training offered by American Majority.

  • The Republican establishment would like you to meet their next presidential candidate, Jeb Bush. Why not? The last two establishment candidates worked out so well.

  • The Obama administration and the mainstream media are being very quiet about a bill Obama signed that exempts U.S. airlines from Europe’s carbon tax.

  • Keith Hennessey believes that Obama’s threat to veto a Fiscal Cliff resolution bill he doesn’t like is a bluff because Obama can’t risk a recession in 2013. I’m unconvinced – I suspect his desire to tax/punish the wealthy is stronger than his fear of taking the blame for a recession that would, in Hennessey’s words, “limit the President’s options across his entire policy agenda, economic and non-economic.”

  • The Obama administration isn’t talking much about the expiration of the Social Security payroll tax reduction in January, probably because it didn’t work as an economic stimulus and it increased the rate at which Social Security is headed for insolvency.

  • McClatchy published an article on the “lost decade” of American wages: “…real wages are now about the same level as they were in December 2005. Put another way, wages have clawed back from the Great Recession only to the level of seven years ago… In fact, real wages have been on a mostly downward slope for more than 40 years.” The article goes on to explain that while wages have decreased, the consumption rate has remained relatively constant, with government transfer payments filling the gap. Why do you suppose this article appeared after the presidential election and not before?

  • The American Petroleum Institute is suing the EPA over its ridiculous and wasteful biofuel mandate.

  • If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is going to hit his state’s budget goal, tax collections will have to increase 10% for the rest of the fiscal year, which sounds rather unlikely in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

  • Texas has a new Secretary of State, San Antonio lawyer John T. Steen Jr.

  • The Pentagon is buying light reconnaissance aircraft for Yemen’s military.

  • Robert Oscar Lopez wrote an interesting account of what it’s like to be a conservative in academia: “The moment I hung a small 8.5 x 11 placard saying ‘McCain-Palin’ – that was all – inside my office (not on my door) in the fall of 2008, my life became hell. I’ve been boycotted by fellow faculty members, been kicked off-campus for events tied to university grants, had a colleague throw flyers at me, been stalked by paranoid professors videotaping me in search of evidence that I’m racist, been forced to turn over work e-mails to left-wing activists on the other side of the country, been sent racist e-mails, been vandalized, been passed over for early promotion despite a very strong file, been kicked off department listservs (twice), been deleted from the department newsletter (multiple times), been bashed on blogs, been accused of inciting anti-Latino racism, been called a gay-basher, been called an ‘embarrassment’ by a senior colleague in an open letter to the dean…I could go on and on.”

  • In the unlikely case you are unaware that age discrimination is rampant in the technology industry, Reuters offers an introduction to the topic.

  • Newly promoted Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue fired Rich Williamson, the person responsible for the team that delivered the underwhelming (to be generous) maps application in iOS 6.

Links for 11-26-2012

  • Mark Levin concludes that we should let the Fiscal Cliff happen. With respect to the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, Senator Rand Paul says that Republicans are offering to raise taxes but the Democrats are offering no spending cuts; he thinks the result of the negotiations will be an “enormous, ugly bill” that will raise the debt ceiling by a couple of trillion dollars.

  • The creative math being applied in the Fiscal Cliff negotiations includes cutting spending by increasing spending on the farm bill by 58%. This “works” because the Congressional Budget Office’s projection for farm bill spending includes an enormous increase in food stamp spending, and the current draft farm bill knocks a few billion off that number to arrive at a “cut.”

  • Greg Mankiw pokes holes in Warren Buffet’s New York Times op-ed advocating that the rich pay more in taxes. Buffet structures his wealth and that of Berkshire Hathaway to avoid taxes, then he complains that he’s not paying enough in taxes. It’s past time to write a check to the Treasury and shut up.

  • Senator Harry Reid started his gambit to change the filibuster rules: “…the goal of Reid’s new policy would be to force Republicans to filibuster legislative votes, rather than merely scheduling. That, in turn, would enable Reid to avoid negotiations before bringing a bill to the floor for a vote, putting pressure on Senate Republicans to cave, and helping Reid avoid having to schedule Republican amendments for votes to take place.”

  • The U.S. Supreme Court revived Liberty University v. Geithner, which means it will hear another ObamaCare challenge, this time from the religious liberty angle.

  • Congressman Dana Rohrabacher wrote a nasty letter to the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Lobsang Sangay, accusing him and other Tibetan leaders of working to get Jigme Ngapo fired as head of Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan service. Lobsang Sangay denied involvement. Meanwhile more Tibetans self-immolated, including a nun, Sangay Dolma and a 24 year old father of three, Gonpo Tsering. A student protest outside a Tibetan medical school was put down by force.

Links for 11-25-2012

Links for 11-23-2012

  • Wednesday’s New York Times: “Mr. Obama talked with Mr. Morsi three times within 24 hours and six times over the course of several days, an unusual amount of one-on-one time for a president. Mr. Obama told aides he was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence. He sensed an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology. Most important, Mr. Obama told aides that he considered Mr. Morsi a straight shooter who delivered on what he promised and did not promise what he could not deliver.” Thursday: Morsi appoints himself dictator of Egypt. Friday: Egyptian protestors burn the offices of Morsi’s political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, in several cities and police deploy tear gas in Tahrir Square. Obama sure can pick ’em, can’t he? (via Richard Grenell)

  • In 2004, President George W. Bush nominated a black woman, Condoleezza Rice, to be Secretary of State. There was no liberal outrage or cries of racism when cartoonist Ted Rall depicted her as a “house nigga.” In 2012, rumors circulate that President Barack Obama will nominate another black woman, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, to be Secretary of State. Republican Senators question her competence after she made several public statements attributing the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya to a YouTube video, statements she must have known were not true when she made them. Now liberals are declaiming racism. Funny how that works.

  • Two more Tibetans self-immolated: Tamding Kyab and Lubum Gyal. Chinese police have reportedly received orders to punish not only the families of Tibetans who self-immolate, but also people who offer condolences and prayers to the families.